A Very Tall Order for Action

By Leonard Doyle

“Nearly a billion people rely on migration as the best way to increase their personal liberty and to improve health, education, and economic outcomes for their families. If the right policies are put in place, there is clear evidence that states can magnify these positive outcomes, while also generating significant financial and social gains for countries of origin and destination.”

That, in a nutshell, is what Peter Sutherland, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Migration says is at stake in October of this year, when for only the second time in its history, the UN General Assembly will focus on international migration. If it is to succeed, Sutherland says, the summit must generate action on how to reduce the economic and human costs of migration. It also must determine how states and other stakeholders can deepen their cooperation in solving migration-related problems—“all while avoiding the political axe-grinding typical of most migration debates.”

These are nuanced words from a seasoned public figure and they reward careful reading. As Sutherland points out in his article in the just published Migration Policy and Practice for June 2013, migration is one of the hot button issue of international diplomacy.

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Tell Me What You Really Think


By Charmaine Caparas

Social media now has tremendous influence over the way people around the world — of all ages — get and share information. In today’s interconnected world, everyone is looking for accountability and value for their money. With more than 1.11 billion Facebook users, 500 million Twitter users and 3 million bloggers, social media is not just as a means to broadcast institutional messages but a way to engage in a two-way conversation with stakeholders. It's the key to finding what people are really talking about and what their needs are.

Checking in at the Refugee Hotel


By Joe Lowry

Ever been to New York? Was your first sight of it the gleaming Manhattan skyline? Lady Liberty? My first time in the Big Apple I just glimpsed some high-rises in the smog as my Virgin Airlines flight bounced through the clouds and smog into Newark on a wet November day in 1991.

Catch Each Drop


By Philippe Brewster

TODAY is World Desertification Day and for the last seven months, all islands over the 8 degree latitude in the Marshall islands have been suffering from a severe drought due to a near total absence of rainfall. The rainy season normally starts this month but as yet there has been no rain. Over 10% of the country’s population is severely affected by this meteorological phenomenon. The government declared a state of emergency in May this year and a humanitarian response targeting one of the remotest corners of the planet has been launched by the national government and international community.

O Superman


By Leonard Doyle

TO everything there is a season. Just as immigration reform is back on the agenda in the US, along comes the new Superman blockbuster “Man of Steel,” where the underlying theme is that of the immigrant experience. Not to put too fine a point on it, this movie frames the experience of migration in the most positive way possible and serves to remind how much migrants contribute, both to their adopted societies and countries of origin.